In what has quickly become one of YouTube’s most beloved traditions, the leading video platform has compiled its annual mashup of the music, trends and memes that won the web in 2015.
Dubbed YouTube Rewind, this year’s compilation is themed ‘Rewind Replay’ and features even more reminiscing than usual given that it also serves to commemorate YouTube’s 10th anniversary.
Over the years, the undertaking has grown from a simple studio shoot in 2011 (hosted by Friday singer Rebecca Black) to a massive global production that, this year, was shot in 18 countries starring roughly 160 YouTube creators over 21 days. To date, YouTube’s Rewind videos have been viewed almost 400 million times.
“We start with a really comprehensive database of trends, people, music, videos, top creators and look at what has represented the year,” says Zach Blume, co-founder of digital studio Portal A, which has produced the project for YouTube since its inception. “It’s a six-minute video that covers maybe 100 different trends, so we have to be pretty selective of what we include.”
And each year, the video is becoming more international. While last year’s video shone a spotlight on Japanese creators, Blume says his favorite shoot this year featured members of YouTube’s Mexican creator community, where top influencers danced on top of and inside a Rewind-themed bus in the middle of the desert.
At the same time that it unveiled ‘Rewind,’ YouTube announced today that a new Trending Tab on its desktop site and mobile app is rolling out, which will aggregate buzzworthy videos in real-time based on views and engagement.
The company also announced the top trending videos of 2015, which it says it based on views, shares, comments and likes. Taking the top spot was Silento’s Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) -- the first time a dance video has ever cinched the top spot. Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s See You Again was the top music video of the year, while Uptown Funk was the top song.